My journey to becoming a postpartum doula

If I had to pin point one moment in time when it all clicked for me, that would be quite challenging. There wasn’t really such a moment. It was a combination of events and my long lasting passion and interest in pregnancy, babies, and mothers which got me to where I am today.

Coupled with my love for well-being, mental health, and psychology, the work of a postpartum doula fits so well into what I love the most.

Graduating from BA Psychology

The journey to actualizing my passion and my dream started around February 2019 when I was working in a corporate position I felt was not satisfying me as much as I would have liked. It was also around that time when I discovered Bluetooth headphones and podcasts. This changed my life. I was listening and listening any moment I got on my commute (biking of course because this was the Netherlands). It opened up a world of accessible knowledge to information I hadn’t known where to find previously.

“Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”

Following a quote I had once come across “do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”, I started looking around in my life and asking myself the question “what do I love doing in my free time?” The answer was right in front of me. I loved watching birth videos (even before I was pregnant), listening to podcasts about motherhood, pregnancy and physiologic birth, parenthood, attachment, etc. I knew at that moment that I landed on my passion and now needed to find what work I can do around that.

Biking in The Netherlands while listening to podcasts

So, in April 2019 I Googled “doulas in Amsterdam” and set up to have coffee with some of them. These lovely ladies shared so generously with me about their journey, where they trained, how they got to the place they are now, and what they could recommend for me. It was also the same month when I attended an open day for a doula training school in Amsterdam and got a better taste of what that was all about. Even though the training focused on birth doulas, I remember leaving that day feeling energized and inspired to create something for mothers after they have their baby.

Focusing on postpartum care

Training as a birth doula somehow didn’t appeal to me at the time. It didn’t match with what I wanted to give mothers. I had a strong feeling and attraction to working with mothers after they have had their babies. I was drawn to the psychological influences and changes that happen to the core belief of women’s identity and the mental health struggles many experience. I knew that not enough was being done in this area and felt that this was where I wanted to be, this was where I was most needed.

With a clearer understanding of my direction, I began to look for postpartum doula training programs. I came across the Newborn Mothers Collective training which just got me and what I was trying to accomplish. It was in December 2019 that I graduated from this program, before becoming a mother myself.

The biggest lesson of course was the birth of me as a mother. In March 2020 I gave birth to my first daughter in my home, in the water, in Amsterdam. It was a transforming experience that has shaped me as a woman and as a mother. I loved how I was able to take all those things I learned in my postpartum doula training and see them happening inside of me during those first weeks postpartum. 

I love learning and developing so I make sure to continue listening to podcasts and interviews with experts about everything to do with birth and postpartum. I’m always looking out for new courses to take, new projects to work on, new collaborations to join.

This has been my journey so far, and it’s only just the beginning.

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